The Huawei P8 ships in an impressive looking box. It is one of the most-premium packages we've seen in quite a while. The box has a semi-translucent plastic cap, which hides the tightly packed stuff inside.
The accessories and the paper leaflets are housed separate cardboard boxes, while the phone itself is safely tucked in-between them.
The set of accessories includes a 1A wall charger, a Huawei headset and a USB cable. The accessories themselves are not as exclusive as the box would suggest as we've seen them ship with other Huawei products.
Despite that the presentation is indeed superb, more than matching the high price tag of the device.
The phone looks gorgeous and its design is as refined as it gets no matter what angle you look at it.
As we already mentioned, the Huawei P8 does tend to take after its predecessor - the Ascend P7, but the P8 is more refined and premium in every way. The overall appearance and styling of the device bears a lot of universal appeal. We find it hard to pinpoint some element that would put off a particular group of buyers.
The device is all-metal with a slight texture to its mat finish and feels amazing to the touch. The material also provides just enough traction to get a firm grip.
The P8 is taller, wider and heavier than the P7, which is ok, considering the bigger screen and different material choice. Yet, it is just as thin, even thinner, which is quite impressive. The exact measurements are 144.9 x 72.1 x 6.4 mm and it tips the scale at 144g.
Another impressive feat is that the P8 has retained its signature flush design. Nothing is protruding, the device sits flat on any surface and there is no camera hump to speak of, despite having a 13MP camera with OIS.
Not much else can be said about the choice of materials. Huawei appears to have made absolutely no compromises in this department. The attention to detail is superb. Even the small glass panel on the back of the phone has Gorilla Glass 3 protection, just like the front panel.
One thing missing from the previous generation is the glass back, but, the metal one feels like an upgrade more than anything else.
Build quality is also perfect. Unfortunately, the P8 doesn't have any official IP certification for enhanced resistance to water or dust.
The controls on the Huawei P8 are almost identical to those of its predecessor, the Ascend P7. The button placement is also carried over and frankly, it is quite a good choice. The device handles well and all controls are easy to reach and responsive. The handset is, however, noticeable larger than its predecessor, so, there isn't really a one to one match in the outer shell and some things have been moved around and redesigned a bit.
One impressive thing to note about the P8 is that it stick to a minimalistic and clean design all the way. Nothing is really out of place or excessive. Starting at the front, for example, Huawei has opted for a 5.2-inch Full HD display using an IPS-NEO panel. It is a little bigger that the one in the P7 and still, the deep black bezel blurs the line between screen and frame and makes for very natural and flush look, especially when the display is off. That is if you opt for the silver or black color option.
The new IPS-NEO panel delivers impressively deep black levels.
There are no capacitive buttons on the front of the unit and the Huawei logo has been removed from underneath the screen, leaving behind just a simple black surface - definitely minimalistic. Huawei does, however, offer a special screen protector, which through some clever capacitive trickery adds such buttons to the frame. Quite convenient, as the OS is also aware of the said option and it turns off the onscreen navigation on request for some extra screen real-estate.
There is not much else in plain sight on the front of the device. There is the earpiece and the 8MP front-facing camera, tightly packed next to it. There are also proximity and light sensors beside the earpiece, but they are very well concealed. There is also a very small status LED near the top right corner, but it is absolutely invisible when off.
Going round the device, we find the left side bare, just as it is on the Ascend P7. There are only a couple of plastic accents here, which can be found on the opposite side as well.
On the right side is where the action happens. It houses a total of four controls, but doesn't feel cluttered. The volume rocker is on top, with a nice oval shape and precision cut design.
Right below it is the power switch, which still resides in its own groove, just like on the P7. This really helps in guiding your thumb to the right place. Also, the button itself has gotten a little bigger. Metal is again the material of choice, complete with a circular, brushed pattern as a finish.
Below the button, we find two separate card slots, both sitting flush on the frame. One houses the primary nanoSIM card, while on the Dual SIM model the second tray would accept either a microSD card or a secondary nanoSIM card.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the device. Next to it is the secondary noise-canceling microphone.
The bottom of the Huawei P8 has two symmetrical grills, but only one of them houses a speaker. The main microphone is hidden under the other.
The back side is perfectly flat, without a protruding camera lens, which is becoming a rarity with flagships nowadays.
Interestingly, the 13MP sensor has Optical Image Stabilization system (OIS) and it still fits inside a frame that is thinner than the Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6. Right next to it, there is a dual-tone LED flash.
Thecamera lens is perhaps too close to the edge and is quite easy to cover with your fingers, but that's just nitpicking.
The rest of the back is all metal with a really nice feel to it. The glass insert near the top is where the antennas are located.